Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas believes that Virgil van Dijk’s 2019-20 Premier League season has not been as good as his 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

The 2018-19 season saw Van Dijk play a role in Liverpool accumulating 97 points in the Premier League. However, more importantly, Van Dijk contributed to the Reds claiming the 2019 Champions League trophy.

Liverpool have certainly not dropped off this season, as the club and Van Dijk are two victories away from securing the 2019-20 Premier League title.

Despite this being the case, Nicholas believes that Van Dijk performed better in the 2018-19 Premier League season.

“Has he been as good as last year? No,” Nicholas told Sky Sports when picking his Team of the Season, as quoted by the Express.

“He looks cumbersome and sluggish at times, but his pace can rescue him.

“He has pace and purpose on the ball, while having a great awareness of danger.

“He never jumps in and rarely dives in.

“If someone is really quick, they may have a chance, or if a player is tricky, they could send him the wrong way, but he stands up and asks them to do something, meaning the player would normally lay it off. He has an authority within the game.”

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MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 18: Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool FC at Wanda Metropolitano on February 18, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

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ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT

The reality is, Van Dijk has had a relatively similar season statistically in comparison to his 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

His overall performance rating on WhoScored.com for the 2019-20 Premier League season is 7.40.

In the 2018-19 Premier League season, Van Dijk’s performance rating was 7.44, which shows that there has not been that much of a drop off like Nicholas is suggesting.

One aspect of Van Dijk’s game that has improved this season is his ability to find the back of the net. The Dutchman has scored four goals in the 2019-20 Premier League season.

He also scored four in the 2018-19 Premier League season, but he played nine more fixtures.

About The Author

Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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